To save money, I flew without any add-ons, including baggage allowance. I’m not a light packer when it comes to vacations, so I took it upon myself to hand-carry a lot of my things.
After backpacking for reporting trips in several countries in Southeast Asia last year, I quickly learned how to pack light and efficiently. But on vacation, when I’m off-duty, I enjoy bringing a more exciting collection of shoes and clothes. Because of this, it’s pretty easy for my suitcase to be overweight.
Some airlines are extremely strict about how much each suitcase weighs. The budget airlines typically charge for check-in baggage, although these fees can be reasonable when pre booked. It’s when you try to add anything on last-minute at the airport that prices go up.
For example, VietJet Air, the budget airline I flew from Taipei, in Taiwan, to Vietnam’s capital Ho Chi Minh City, charges a hefty fee per kilogram for having excess baggage. To pre-book a 15 kilogram, or 33 pounds, bag with them, it’s about $15.
But others, like Cambodia Angkor Air — which has a tiny fleet of just six planes — checked in my suitcase for free. While the airline has a small fleet, it’s Cambodia’s flag carrier and not technically classified as a budget airline.
Nonetheless, I always take an extra-large foldable bag or shopping tote with me in case I need to remove items from my bag to meet the maximum baggage weight.